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Antinuation is a dense and heavy, potent little exploration of longing and distance inherent to the ambiguity of the queer perspective. As has been the case throughout modernity, the classical language of architecture and art has been a way for queerness to express itself publicly, hidden in plain sight as it were, whilst being clothed in references that the heteronormative world would see simply as tasteful and classical. Hadrian, as someone deeply enamoured with a young man, Antinous, and someone deeply sophisticated in their commissioning and appreciation of the arts and architecture, he has always been treated as a queer point of fascination, his villa often discussed as the first example of a queer approach to urbanism and space. He was also a genocidal mass murderer, responsible for the death of more than 800,000 jews, initiating the Millenia long diaspora of those people and forever connecting the queer and Jewish fates as perennial outsiders is consequent European history. This mixing of the terrible and the beautiful, the oppressed and the marginalised with the oppressor and those in power, the conjoining of supposed opposites, with each opposite also containing elements of the other, is something that is deeply important to my sense of identity and my approach to making, and here is embodied by the recognisable but abstracted form of a Corinthian capital, the most ornate and illustrious of Roman architectural elements, turned upside down, carved out, and rendered mundane, or ruinous. Antinuous died under mysterious circumstances, and was reified as a god with his own cult, but all that is now left of him is fragments and pieces of sculpture depicting his visage, icons to queer culture for hundreds of years, but complicated ones, problematic, rich, and strange the more you find out…. Antinuation, the process by which fraught identity becomes material, and is then transferred into the imagination of others to become something new, even richer, even more melancholic.

Fabricated by Ateliers Romeo in Italy, this one-off travertine sculpture is available for purchase

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